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December 03, 2002 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2002-12-03

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, December 3, 2002

OP/ED

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420 MAYNARD STREET
ANN ARBOR, MI 48109
letters@michigandaily.com

EDITED AND MANAGED BY
STUDENTS AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
SINCE 1890

JON SCHWARTZ
Editor in Chief
JOHANNA HANINK
Editorial Page Editor

NOTABLE
QUOTABLE
It's the reign of
the Mayberry
Machiavellis."

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of the majority of the Daily's
editorial board. All other articles, letters and cartoons do not
necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

BONNIE KELLMAN MIXED NUTS
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34 .
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01

- John Dibulio former director of the White
House Office of Faith-Based and Community
Initiatives on the internal climate of the
Bush administration. Diulio's quote will
appear in the next issue of Esquire magazine.

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gwrIVA(, '0

Horton hears a what?
AUBREY HENRETTY NEUROTICA
A glossy adver- human beings endure suffering and humili- far different meaning when placed above
tising supple- ation" and could easily be used to further pictures of tiny fetus feet than they did when
m e n t any other ideology whose pedagogues pur- Horton the elephant said them the first time.
currently plaguing ported to be anti-suffering. Or it could be Horton heard a Who, not a fetus, and though
college newspapers an argument against reality television or Seuss often made political statements with
warns readers of a the U.S. tax code. So let's talk about con- his stories (e.g. "The Sneetches," "The
"silent epidemic" that text instead. The only reason to quote a Lorax"), he never dragged my beloved Hor-
has "infected Ameri- noted Holocaust survivor in a discussion of ton into the abortion debate. Horton meant
can culture." It (the a completely unrelated issue is to draw a what he said and he said what he meant and
advertisement - a parallel between the Holocaust and the there was nary a word on the unborn.
12-page insert paid for by a Minnesota orga- subject at hand. Still, the "pro-lifers" behind this ad
nization called the Human Life Alliance) This might work in the context of, say, would probably argue that nothing could be
was here in Ann Arbor last week, shaken some ethnic group playing another round of more pertinent to the subject of abortion
carelessly all over campus from the pages of Let's-kill-everyone-who-doesn't-look-like- than this particular Seuss-ism, which states
Tuesday's Daily. The cover photo looked - us. But in the case of abortion, it just makes their case far more concisely than they
if you'll excuse the redundancy - like a people look desperate, like their argument have. I couldn't disagree more. It is never
Gap commercial gone horribly wrong: is so pitiful that they can't bear to tell us OK to take someone's words out of context
trendy sweaters, meticulously un-styled hair what it is. and doing so kills any credibility the argu-
and those little white masks people wear to The abortion-as-Holocaust metaphor has ment might otherwise have had. I think the
keep out fumes and debris when they paint been floated before, most memorably (and "pro-life" argument does have some merit; I
their kitchens. least effectively) in the form of six-foot- am morally opposed to abortion in most
This looked serious. I seized a dusty high mangled fetus photos looming over the cases, but I think it should be legal and
insert from the floor and was relieved to dis- Diag, courtesy of the so-awful-it's-almost- there are circumstances under which I
cover that the epidemic in question was not humorously named-Genocide Awareness believe it's justifiable. Nobody in either
an actual disease, but a relatively poor Project. The logic (and I use "logic" as camp ("pro-life," "pro-choice") trusts me,
metaphor for abortion. Yes, the United loosely as possible) goes something like which I think is just fine. Each side has a
States has the baby-killing sickness. Ameri- this: Abortion is like the Holocaust because number of scary extremists with cavalier
cans are killing so many babies, it's like an both involve the government-sanctioned attitudes toward life and each side uses
epidemic taking out a whole generation of killing of innocent people. This is the final emotionally-charged imagery and rhetoric
people and it must be stopped. And Holo- thought with which HLA seeks to leave to further its cause. The world may never
caust survivor Elie Wiesel agrees. readers: abortion = killing people legally en know which came first (the extremists or
Wait a second. What? masse = like the Holocaust, therefore "pro- the extreme rhetorical tactics), but the elim-
Well, not "agrees" per se. More "is choice" = Nazi. And world-renowned chil- ination of the latter may at least slow down
quoted on the back of the ad" than dren's author Dr. Seuss agrees. the former. You can quote me on that. But I
"agrees," really. But let's not waste our Wait a second. What? wish you wouldn't.
time arguing semantics; at that level, the "A person's a person, no matter how
Wiesel quote simply encourages people small." That's what he said, right? Indeed he Aubrey Henrett can be reached
"never to be silent whenever and wherever did, but the good doctor's words take on a at ahenrett@umich.edu.
VIEWPOINT
'U' needs a healthy infusion of political awareness
BY CHRISTIAN KNUDSON and individual success. It is a sad reality vices offers such services as STD and
that can be said to know no political bound- HIV/AIDS testing ... for fear they might
Take any course on the history of the aries and victimizes even the most deeply remember their offspring are entering into
University and you will discover that those thinking among us. the real world. Where, in the 1960s, stu-
who went before you created a radiant bea- The healthy self-criticism of decades dents, at the University came together to
con of activism that transformed this other- previous has gradually winnowed away and profess a new vision for a nation (check
wise banal exit off I-94 into a vibrant left in its wake an unfortunate prevailing out the Port Huron Statement) that offered
catalyst for change. It was many years mentality shirking everything this beacon little political or cultural representation for
before most of our lifetimes that this rare that we call the University stands for. While those at the bottom, the campus "politi-
collection of young adults and their idealis- no one can pretend to have the corner on the cians" of our generation are the boys and
tic pedagogues caused America's ears to values market, it does stand to reason that girls who fight for great causes like
perk, its eyes to open, minds to think and its for many of us our unabashedly self-serv- increased availability of entree-plus and a
mouths to speak. Now look at us ... it's an ing, comically pretentious notions of what bus service for us "poor" fraternity men
ironically disappointing contrast. is important in life suffocates this brilliant, and sorority women who happen to live a
As an intelligent community of young once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to mold a few too many steps from campus confines.
people a lot of things have changed since greater common good. We should be ashamed of ourselves. I
the cultural upheaval of the 1960s and '70s: As a Campus Day leader I consistently know I am.
we are now more diverse than ever before, battle with an administration wholly bent, it Use these four, or however many years
our adolescence has been saturated by tech- would seem, on selling this great University you have remaining, to truly fight for some-
nological developments providing us with - this place where our "controversial" thing you believe in. Whether it be increas-
an unbridled array of instruments through ideas once challenged misguided authority ing awareness over the benefits of free trade
which we have the opportunity to pursue so much that their only recourse was to call and its subsequent ability to promote sus-
our goals like nothing history has ever seen, in military personnel - as just another step- tainable development in the Third World; or
and for many of us our days pass with few ping stone, nay, another marketplace joining the growing movement to hold Dow
or no preoccupations over possible nuclear through which the competitive acquisition Chemical Company responsible for the over
war between the superpowers. In a sense we of some means to success can hopefully be 20,000 deaths its recently purchased Union
are a privileged family of starry-eyed kids attained by the benefactors of its "investors" Carbide caused in Bhopal, India: give your-
who have been filled with the support of our (read: our parents and us). The University self the benefit of knowing you helped to
parents and loved ones to use this college sold you on this place and it is doing a good bring about change even while you were
experience to further build for ourselves job, you have to admit, of keeping you and working for that BBA or EECS degree. It is,
lives that will be bulky in success and limit- your parents as its client. after all, our school and I say we unite in
less in potential. Where we were once known as a cam- restoring a legacy that cannot disappear into
Along the way, however, we have pus that mobilized the emotions of a oblivion.
allowed ourselves and our consciences as, nation to question national defense policy,
dare I say it, leaders, to be thickly veiled by we are now a sheepish lot that must be Knudson is an LSA sophonore
the unsettling evolution of American culture careful not to let parents of prospective and co-host of WCBN-FM's
and its prevailing values toward materialism students know that University Health Ser- "Focus on the Issues. "
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Capitalist society bears onus
for the commodification of
Christmas holiday
To THE DAILY:
In his column about Christmas, Stocking
suckers, (11/26/02), Joseph Litman asks to
not use the phrases "Christmas break" and
"winter break" synonymously. I would also
ask that he also not use "Christmas" and
"Christian" synonymously. As Litman
writes himself, "the day is less about com-
nnasinand moabousat consumntion."

tion and consumerism at the center as well.
This is a fault of Christians and non-Chris-
tians alike. Rather than call this."bastardiza-
tion of Christmas" a uniquely Christian event
("JC's big day"), I would think it better to
call it a capitalist American event.
ANNA VANDERVEEN
LSA junior
Reducing consumption will
harm the domestic economy
To THE DAILY:
In regard to the editorial Bye-Bye buying

not be beneficial for anyone because your
tuition bills will only appear higher if your
income falls.
If the activists would like to alter Ameri-
cans preferences away fr'om large corpora-
tions, that is another issue. Perhaps a better
course of action for the activists would be to
urge consumers to patronize small businesses
as opposed to large multinational corpora-
tions.
ADAM SOUTHARD
LSA junior
Adbusters: Hypocrites

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